A strong upper body is good for more than just opening a stubborn pickle jar.
While a sculpted core and solid legs are certainly something to aspire to, they're only part of a good fitness equation. A well-rounded workout requires a great deal of concentration on your arms, shoulders, chest and back.
That's because getting a tough upper body is essential to your overall fitness and can have lasting effects beyond the weight machines. Above is a full 5-minute arm workout from DailyBurn 365. And below, find six research-backed reasons to work those top muscles during your next gym session:
1. Using weights is good for your heart.
Protect that ticker with some bicep curls. According to the American Heart Association, strength training exercises like lifting weights can boost your heart health. And you don't need to be a bodybuilder to reap the benefits: just a little resistance will do the trick.
2. It improves your posture.
A strong back is essential to good posture. Weight training those muscles could help prevent you from slouching -- which could lead to a host of other benefits (hello, more confidence!). Try one of these moves for your next workout.
3. It reduces the risk of injury.
Think of your arm, shoulder, chest and back muscles as your upper body's suit of armor against pain. Research shows resistance training can help lower the risk of musculoskeletal injuries or reduce their severity. Just make sure you're using proper form.
4. Strong muscles will enhance your workouts.
Once you start concentrating on your upper body, you'll be amazed at the ease of your other exercises. Strength training has a way of boosting most workouts. Take swimming, for example. Stronger shoulders and arms can help propel you through the water and enhance your pool performance.
5. Strength training can protect your bones.
Milk may do the body good, but don't underestimate the power of weights. Each year your bones start to lose their strength. Experts say weight or resistance training can help keep your bones healthy and build density, especially as you get older.
6. It just feels good.
There's nothing quite like reaching a new fitness goal, whether it be upping the amount of pushups you can accomplish or graduating to a heavier set of weights. Getting strong feels good in the body and the mind. Not to mention the fact that options of getting there are endless, from rock climbing to weightlifting to even playing tug of war.
Ready to get flexing? Try these exercises for a stronger upper body.
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